A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Electricity supply: 27.9m Nigerian households off grid

*Solar energy, an Off-grid source of electricity.

*As energy demand to increase to 419TWh per annum by 2025

OpeOluwani Akintayo

13 November 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Estimated projections from a recent Nigerian energy needs assessment study commissioned by Shell had found that a total of 27.9 million households in Nigeria are either totally off grid or have a bad grid connection.

According to the study focused on the need for renewable energy in the country, the 27.9 million affected households get less than four hours of electricity per day.

“There is a need for Nigeria to connect to a vast community of functional energy solutions.”

“Right now, over a hundred million Nigerians are without sufficient access to energy and experience daily power outages. It’s a serious challenge for households, businesses, and communities, impacting on every part of daily life. It’s also a massive opportunity for growth,” the report said.

Corroborating Shell’s call for Nigeria’s need for off-grid solutions, the Nigerian Campaign Director, Power for All, Ifeoma Malo at a media training workshop organised for journalists on Monday, emphasized the need for Nigeria to embrace other energy sources other than those from fossil fuels.

According to her, 600,000 are killed every year by air pollution caused by the use of solid biomass for cooking, adding that it would take Africa until 2080 to get fully electrified if Africa continues to reject other forms of energy.

“The world is facing a unique moment in its history to deliver universal energy access and all sector of the society have a role to play. Joining does not cast anything, but we ask sector to partner in support of this campaign,” she said.

She revealed that electricity distribution companies, Discos have been fighting against the emergence of renewable and off grids in Nigeria because they thought it had come to steal their market.

However, she said the Discos cannot fully cater for everyone, most especially rural areas which have proven to be too expensive to reach for the utility companies.
“One billion people do not have to wait. Working together, we can achieve universal energy access before 2030,” she said.

Further statistics have shown that energy demand is set to increase from 262TWh to 419TWh per annum, conservatively by 2025.

This means that over the next ten years, Nigeria’s energy demand will soar by 4.5 percent per year, higher than the population growth.

She listed a range of issues that currently limit the ability of stakeholders to deliver the most suitable solutions to populations in need.

These factors include access to finance, awareness and perception, technical capabilities, operational challenges, opaque governance/policy, lack of information and coordination.

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